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Riwaz’ story: a new path to university

Posted on August 18, 2017



Riwaz Karki always knew he would go to university; it was just a matter of when.

First, he planned to take a gap year after high school—a popular decision among his friends. “We were done with school!” he says. “We just wanted to work, make a little money, and have fun for a year.”

As high school graduation neared in 2015, however, Riwaz had given it more thought and decided he was ready for university after all. By this point, however, most admissions deadlines had already passed, so he began looking at other options.

“I was always good at math,” he says. “I knew engineering was the best choice for me.” When he learned that Vancouver Community College’s (VCC) first-year university transfer engineering program still had spots available for the fall, he felt like he’d stumbled on a hidden secret.

“At VCC, there’s small classes, it’s easier to ask questions, and it’s not as expensive as university,” he says of the program, which allows students to transfer directly into second-year engineering programs across Canada. “Most high school students think they have to go directly to university,” he says. “Somehow, they don’t know there’s this option.”

Riwaz excelled at VCC and easily earned the credits needed to enter second-year engineering at Simon Fraser University (SFU) in Fall 2016.

Although Riwaz is enjoying his SFU courses and doing well, he still admits that starting university took a lot of hard work and adjustment. He appreciates now more than ever the support he received at VCC, not only from the instructors but also his classmates.

“Most of my friends happened to be older than me, but we studied together all the time,” he says. “We’re all really good friends now. They’re my crew.” Two VCC classmates even accompanied Riwaz to SFU, while others ended up at schools like the University of British Columbia (UBC), the University of Victoria (UVic), and the University of Waterloo (UW).

Now looking ahead to his third year at SFU, the time has come for Riwaz to pick a specialization. According to him, most students will choose civil or electrical engineering. Riwaz, however, had something totally different in mind—biomedical engineering.

Compared to more established fields, Riwaz is excited by the advancements and innovations happening in the study of human body movements and neurology. “There is so much going on in the biomedical field that’s never been done before,” he says. “I guess I’m the kind of person who just always wants to do something new.” 

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Take a new path to university. Learn how you can earn first-year credits in small classes at VCC and transfer to schools across Canada.